Notre Dame lawsuit against HHS dismissed

The lawsuit by the University of Notre Dame against the HHS mandate has been dismissed in federal district court.  The judge dismissed the case on grounds of ripeness and standing.  This decision, similar to those made about other Catholic entities, is based on the reasoning that Notre Dame is protected by the one-year safe harbor granted by the government.  The government is (so they say) re-working the regulation during this safe harbor period.  

To have standing, a plaintiff must show injury.  A claim must also be “ripe,” according to this judge, 

…meaning that the regulation is sufficiently final that the controversy is ready for judicial review.

 

This judge ruled that Notre Dame had no standing (could show no injury) and that the claim was not ripe.  We’ve seen similar rulings in other cases where the institution was under the safe harbor.  The only immediate injury they can show is the uncertainty they face when  planning budgets and contracting for health plans.  

The case was not decided on the merits–on whether or not the HHS mandate violated the religious freedom of Notre Dame.

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